You came to this life as an extension and expression of source consciousness in the physical dimension. Because of this, it could easily be said that you are a creation or an art piece of God’s. But as an extension of god, you are god. So, you are both the creator and the created. And neither creator nor creation is meant to be suppressed. When you live in a state of openness, you are allowing the art piece of you, to be painted across this world. You are not restricting yourself. You are also not restricting Source itself. Because of this, it is by far the more “in alignment” way to be. And it can easily be said that walking the spiritual path, is walking the path of complete openness. When a child is born, the child has no thoughts of suppressing itself. The child has no secrets from the world. The child does not seclude itself or exclude people from its heart. The child is honest. The child is like this because it is the most natural way to be. The child follows it’s emotional guidance system up until the point where it is taught not to, and when you follow your emotional guidance system, what you find is that the state of constriction is painful and therefore, it is not natural. What you find is that the state of openness feels emotionally good and therefore, it is our natural state. We can think of constriction as the opposite of openness. But a whole range of things fall under the category of constriction. We are constricted when we keep secrets. We are constricted when we “tone ourselves down” in order to be accepted by others. We are constricted when we do things we do not want to do. We are constricted when we close our minds and are no longer open to new ideas and new possibilities of truth. We are constricted when we are not honest. We are constricted when we do not share. We are constricted when we isolate ourselves, we are constricted when we see love in terms of finite quantity and so we reserve it for only some people and not others. We are constricted when we do not allow ourselves to admit to and go after our needs and our wants. We are constricted when we do not express our emotions. We are constricted when we try to fit ourselves into a life dictated by society, instead of carving out a life to fit ourselves. These are just a few examples of thousands of examples of constriction. To live in a state of constriction, is to not let the light of your being shine through your life. A person cannot live like that for long. In fact, living in any way that is constrictive, gives rise to illness quickly. First, your emotions will suffer. Your life will cease to be enjoyable. Then, your body will suffer. The part of the body that perhaps suffers the most from constriction is the heart and lungs. Many of the heart and breathing problems that we experience, are ultimately the result of restricting the self. But constriction can also give rise to a whole host of other ailments such as, stomach disorders, acne, allergies, eating disorders, arthritis, baldness, blood pressure problems, bowel problems, yeast infections, varicose veins, cancers and tumors, speech problems, prostate problems, ovarian problems, and joint problems to name a few.
At some point in our lives, we begin to think that there are consequences for being ourselves and that there are consequences for being open. We begin to fear exposure. We start to feel like victims and the only power we feel we possess, is the power called “self containment”. We feel powerless to just about everything in our lives except for our own choice to hide or expose ourselves. We chose to hide ourselves instead of expose ourselves and sometimes we hide ourselves from ourselves. Doing this allows us to exercise our own sense of free will and it helps us to feel like we are not powerless victims. But it is a decision that will kill us in the end. You came to this earth with the intention of becoming the full expression of your true self, unrestricted. You came here specifically to expose all of yourself. To contain yourself and not expose yourself is to defy and deny the purpose for your life. And so, we must learn to exercise our free will by choosing to expose ourselves and be open instead. When we keep secrets, we feel powerful instead of powerless. But to be secretive is to be exclusionary in a universe that is more than all-inclusive; it is a universe that is ONE. Your secrets do not actually belong to you in a universe that is all one. Your life is everyone’s life. Your stories are everyone’s stories. Your pain is everyone’s pain; your joy is everyone’s joy. To be exclusive, is to go against the flow of this universe that we live in. When we are not open, and honest and do not share, it makes us feel safe instead of unsafe. People think they are safe when they are invisible. But to live your life at the mercy of fear is no kind of life. It is a half-life. We may find that we fear what others will think of us or we may fear that what we tell others will be used against us. But if you were comfortable with being yourself fully, you would not care what they think about you. It would not be possible to be embarrassed if you had not first been indoctrinated with the idea that there is a good way to be and a bad way to be. People, who fear exposing themselves, without exception, were raised in environments where there was a heavy atmosphere of shame. It would be impossible to be embarrassed if you had not first become ashamed of yourself. And a person only becomes ashamed of himself or herself if someone gives them the idea that they should be. As our spiritual practice progresses, we become more aware that anything other people could do to us as a result of us being open is not as bad as the pain and consequence of constriction we impose on ourselves.
There is an old Chinese poem that explains that only a person, who resists the arrow, can be pierced by the arrow. But if one becomes like water, in a state of total openness and non-resistance, the arrow cannot injure them. It would be absorbed into the expanse of them. To live in a state of constriction, especially when we live a secretive life that is closed to others, is to resist the arrow and thus, to become a match to being pierced by it. If we are completely open, we give all of our ammunition away, and by doing so, it cannot be used on us. We become too expansive for other people to make a dent in us.
Some people feel as if being open and sharing themselves with the world completely, is a tasteless form of public exhibitionism and deeper than that, it is a form of narcissism. This is a profoundly out of alignment point of view from source perspective seeing as how, you came to this planet in the first place to uniquely express yourself fully. The only way we can achieve self-awareness, is if we are open with ourselves and if we open ourselves to the world.
What’s more than that, our only way to learn from one another is to express ourselves. People who hold this belief, were raised in environments where the only socially acceptable way of being was conformity to a social ideal. Social etiquette often calls for extreme measures of self-constriction. But we need to understand that if we have an idea of how someone should behave, we are letting our standards be dictated by someone who came before us. Someone who had power over others and who decided that if others behaved in a certain way, it would make them feel happier. It is a form of social control that we have bought into and that we now reinforce. We need to ask ourselves, who decided what was tasteful and what was tasteless? And why? Why is public exhibitionism not ok, especially in a universe where we came into physical life specifically to be the unrestricted expression of our true selves? Why should we act in a certain way? And who decides what that certain acceptable way to act is?
The idea that sharing oneself completely is a form of narcissism is especially sad. You came into this life as one person, and that is you. In physical life, you are restricted to that one perspective. And the only relationship that is guaranteed for the rest of your life is your relationship with yourself. You will be with you until your dying day. This means, you are the love of your life. Most of us just don’t know it yet. The idea that it is virtuous to forget yourself and that it is selfish to care about yourself and to think highly enough of yourself enough to be driven to show yourself off to others, is an idea that is not backed by source itself. It is an idea that was imposed on us by other people who believed in the virtue of selflessness and who rejected us for who we were. These people believed in humility. A kind of humility called lethal humility. They spent a good deal of time trying to make us believe that to be selfish was to be bad and that to be bad was to not deserve love. So our only way to get love was to deny ourselves and restrict ourselves and to become constricted.
The bottom line is, to live a life that is in alignment; that enables us to stay emotionally and physically healthy and to love ourselves, openness is the order of the day. We have a choice at all moments of the day; the choice is to be open or to be closed. This is why one of the most beneficial exercises you can do is to ask yourself throughout the day “how am I being closed right now? How am I constricting myself or letting myself be constricted?” and make the necessary changes in favor of openness based on the answer you receive. A state of openness is the real state of freedom. Everything we do is a creative expression of our inner selves. To be constricted in any way, is to prevent the energy of our being from flowing through our bodies and into our lives. If we are committed to the spiritual path, we must commit ourselves to the state of openness.
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